The meeting of the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council, organized by the French Presidency of the European Union Council, took place on 28th of March 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. Romania was represented at the meeting by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Lucian BODE. The topic of the discussion was European coordination of refugees from Ukraine.
In his speech, the Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs highlighted Romania’s efforts at the national level to manage the situation generated by the influx of displaced people from Ukraine, emphasizing upon the fact that Romania has become an important logistical base for much of the international humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
„For more than a month until now, we have been facing an extremely complicated situation and unprecedented challenges, which have stretched our administrative, human and financial capabilities to the maximum. I appreciate the initiative of the French Presidency to hold this special meeting of the JHA Council. At the moment, there is a need for greater unity and cooperation than ever before […], and our actions must focus, first and foremost, on supporting the people of Ukraine who are facing extremely difficult times,” said Lucian BODE.
The Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs highlighted the fact that Romania has set up in Bucharest, together with the European Commission, a Center for Ukrainian refugees taken from the Republic of Moldova and which will be transferred to some member states. He also emphasized upon the importance of financial support to specific actions for measures regarding Ukraine situation and appreciated the support provided by European agencies such as EUROPOL, FRONTEX and EUAA for managing the situation.
With regard to border security checks, the Romanian dignitary informed that systematic checks are carried out upon all persons appearing at border crossing points and that special attention is paid to the protection of the most vulnerable persons, especially children, against all forms of exploitation and trafficking in human beings.
On the sidelines of the Extraordinary Council, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Lucian BODE, signed together with the Executive Director of the EU Asylum Agency, Ms. Nina GREGORI, the Operational Support Plan for Romania, becoming the first Member State to sign such a document aimed at concrete operational support for the Romanian authorities in managing the refugee crisis, the application of the Temporary Protection Directive, etc.
Romania has a close relationship with the Asylum Agency, and the Operational Plan signed today is further proof of the very good collaboration. „The conflict in Ukraine has recently led to a massive influx of people displaced to EU Member States, and this issue has created challenges for the Romanian authorities, including those who manage asylum issues at the national level,” said the Romanian dignitary.
Last but not least, the Romanian dignitary had a bilateral meeting with Ylva JOHANSSON, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, on which occasion the latest developments and the necessary coordination measures at European level regarding the refugees from Ukraine were highlighted.
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